Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives. Posted by
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Taken three years before the sisters' deaths in 1945, this photograph shows Anne and Margot Frank. Both girls died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, likely from typhus.
“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” One of the most iconic names in world history, Anne Frank was a German-born Jewish diarist who rose to fame years after her death when her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, was published in 1947. A victim of the Holocaust, Frank and her family fled Germany and found their own personal sanctuary in the attic of a small apartment in Amsterdam. Hiding in a small attic in the building where her father worked, Frank wrote down every detail of her life alongside her parents, Otto and Edith, and her sister Margot.
Eventually captured and transported to Auschwitz, Frank and her sister ended up at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where they both died in February/March 1945. Out of the entire family, Frank’s father was the only survivor and returned to Amsterdam after the war to discover that his secretary had saved his daughter’s coveted diary. The diary was first published in Dutch in 1947 and was later translated to English and published in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl. Now translated into over 60 languages and studied around the world, let’s take a closer look at the life and death of diarist Anne Frank.
Life: From Frankfurt to Auschwitz
Annelies Marie Frank came into this world on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany as the youngest daughter of a businessman named Otto and his wife, Edith. Raised in a devout Jewish home, Frank showed an early interest in writing as a child and dreamed of one day becoming a professional writer. These dreams, however, were put on hold in 1933 when Germany came under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi political party. Hitler worked to cleanse the country of Jews, whom he faulted for all the problems facing Germany and all of Europe. He stopped at nothing to cleanse the population, which caused Jewish families like the Franks to fear for their lives.
Knowing Frankfurt was no longer safe for their family, Otto and Edith moved Margot and Anne to Amsterdam in 1934. Initially, the family felt safe in Amsterdam since the country had not yet been taken over by the Nazis. They spent the next eight years in peace where the girls attended school and Anne pursued her interests in writing. Otto even started his own company as an herb and spice wholesaler, which provided very well for the family of four.
Everything changed in 1939 with the start of World War II. The Nazis invaded other European countries like Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. The Franks considered moving but didn’t act fast enough as the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940 and forever changed their lives. By then, Otto already had a hiding place for his family and brought his wife and daughters to his office where, behind a small bookcase, he built a secret door that led to a small attic that the family later named the “Secret Annex.”
Over the next four years, Frank and her family remained in hiding with her father’s small network of employees working to bring the family food and updates of the outside world. To pass the time, Frank wrote in her diary and documented every aspect of life in the small attic. She wrote about her relationships with her family and the van Pels, another family who joined them in hiding. “Margot’s much nicer… she’s not nearly so catty these days and is becoming a real friend,” Frank wrote in one entry. “She no longer thinks of me as a little baby who doesn’t count.” Never thinking anyone would read her diary, Frank also wrote about her difficult relationship with her mother—“she’s not a mother to me”—and her kinship to her father.
Documenting every detail of her life in hiding for four years, Frank dreamed of one day living a normal life. “I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met,” she wrote. Sadly, she would never see that day herself. In August 1944, the Nazis discovered the Frank’s Secret Annex and apprehended the entire family. As Frank was taken, she left her diary behind and never saw her parents again. She spent months transported between concentration camps before she and her sister were transferred from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in late 1944. Within months, between February and March 1945, both girls were dead. Frank was only 16 years old. Just one month later, in April 1945, Allied soldiers rescued the Jews from the camp but, by then, it was far too late.
By the end of World War II, Otto Frank was the only surviving family member. He later returned to Amsterdam where, much to his surprise, he learned that his secretary, Miep Gies, found Anne’s diary shortly after they were captured. She kept the diary and returned it to him. Over the next few months, he worked to get the diary published and saw his daughter’s dreams of becoming a writer come true in 1947 when The Diary of a Young Girl was published in Dutch. Years later, the diary was translated and published in English in 1952.
Today, The Diary of a Young Girl has been translated into over 60 languages and is an iconic piece of world history that documents the tragic lives of Frank and her family. Today, Frank’s words and legacy live on in her diary. “I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness,” she wrote. “I hear the approaching thunder that one day will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions and yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better.”